Lyndale Liner's Newsletter

Lyndale Blog - November 2019

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As I write this, sitting in the home office in Auckland, it feels like a winter rewind has happened. Snow falls in the south are not unheard of at this time of year but this particular event looks to have initiated quite a substantial dump of nature's finest white blanket.

At Lyndale, this season has very similar characteristics to 2017. Coldish and wet. This is in complete contrast to 2018 which was significantly drier and more warm.

We have several indicator crops that make easy climate ready reckoners.

Agapanthus; we have a trial and reference garden of Agapanthus and note how slow they are to come into flower this year, where as in 2018 there were good coverings of blooms from early October.

Helleborus; for the last five years we have put considerable resources into improving our contracted Helleborus crop, and have got reasonably good at growing them to a strict timetable.

This year mirrors 2017 in that we have potted the plants in July and have put them straight outside into a dedicated shade structure.

Here is the interesting part, we have not had to turn the sprinklers on to date and will most likely not do so before half of them go out the door next month.

This is in contrast to last year where we had to start regular watering cycles from week 41 (early October).

All of this is of passing academic interest as I sit in the office with a fire simmering in the log burner, somewhat pleased that I am home and well away from the mayhem that has been Auckland traffic today. A state of being even worse than its usual frustrating condition, caused by a bigger fire simmering.

Yes, the new as yet unfinished convention centre which has sadly caught fire, bringing a string of traffic knock on effects that made travelling across town a challenging experience.

Thankfully no one has been injured to date, but many questions will be raised over the next few weeks.


Agapanthus 'Gold Strike'

New experimental

Hellebores a real winter delight

Auckland's Sky City
Convention Centre

Labour Shortage (did you know what the government has brewing?)

March 2020 will see us go through a change to our immigration laws that will essentially close the route to residence for the majority of much-needed migrant employees, definitely a host of people working in horticulture.

From next March, anyone looking to a pathway for residence will have to be on a 'high skill' rate.

According to Immigration NZ, that means new migrants will have to be in a pay bracket of over $104,000 a year.

Everyone under that pay grade is considered low skill and can apply for a temporary work visa only. This work visa will only last one year, can be renewed twice, and that's it, then you have to go home and can't reapply for a year.

The message from the government is clear - you can only be one of us if you are in the top percentile of earners. This bracket of pay is 200% above the median wage and takes pretty well the whole of our industry out of the work-to-residence route. I must admit that when I read about this significant change I was completely floored.

Lyndale, like many Auckland worksites, is a united nations of people.

Applying for a work visa has already been an uphill battle, and the route to residency is very hard but it is effectively about to become impossible for the horticultural industry to go down this route.

Be clear that this does not necessarily capture unskilled labour, in fact, with the existing deals that exist with specific Pacific Island nations, nothing will change too much (you can come and work then go home and someone else will come).

But the skilled and semi-skilled pathway from countries that still have horticultural training of standing and repute, will be where we really feel it.

So the potential nursery managers, skilled propagators, and the sort of people we are all really short of, are only going to have a hope of getting into NZ to live if you can pay them over $104,000 a year.

Small businesses! Take another hit!!


Apples dependent on
imported labour

Handling Trays

To end the blog on a more positive note, black handling trays are now to be supplied at no charge

Kind regards
The Lyndale Team



Lyndale Nurseries

Post PO Box 81 022, Whenuapai, Auckland
Street 82 Trig Rd, Whenuapai, Auckland
Phone 09 416 8482
Fax 09 416 9268
©2019 Lyndale Nurseries. Pictures & information provided as a guide only.
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